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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Can a mental health therapist recommend to deny visitation

Resolved Question:

Can a mental health therapist recommend to deny visitation when there is no abuse, neglect or any other reason but just beacause the parent doesnt want it?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

Therapists involved in a custody case have a duty to determine their roles in that situation. Is the therapist acting as a mediator, evaluator or just a therapist? If the therapist acting for the person they are counseling, then they are offering an opinion based on their clients needs, not necessarily what is in the best interest of the case.

For a therapist to make a recommendation, they should be familiar with all aspects of the case and of custody cases in general. Otherwise, the opinion is biased.

To recommend a child's custody situation just based on a client's feelings would be remiss and irresponsible. What is in the best interest of the child should be the goal and that is not based on just feelings.

I hope this helps you,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So as a Therapist you wouldnt make a recommendation based solely on one parents

point of view, or the childs current mental state, you would way the effect of keeping the other parent out of the childs life.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Yes. I would not feel I was being ethical if I did not objectively look at the entire situation. If you are making a recommendation based on a child's future, then you should know the whole situation, not just one point of view. The child's mental state is certainly a big factor since it is the child's future being decided. What is best for the child should be the focus.

This is what I would do as a therapist. It does not mean another therapist cannot see it another way. And if that therapist is being asked by legal counsel to make a recommendation, they may feel that one parent's point of view is all they need. It is a difficult position to be in because you are mixing therapy with legal matters. Both can be very subjective. The therapist must be able to balance all facts and decide the best recommendation possible.


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